Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s column.
Well the big countdown to Christmas is well and truly on! The town lights are in place and many shops are starting to get that glittery festive look. I’m always reminded at this time of year how lucky we are to have so many small independent shops in the town, selling a huge range of interesting gifts and general goods. This year in particular it’s going to be so much more important that we support them as much as we can. Like everyone, they will be feeling the crunch of this current cost of living crisis, and on the back of Covid, many will be struggling to stay afloat, so shopping locally where possible will really help.
This time of year also brings lots of lovely events and occasions, not least the annual Gateway awards which are supported by MENCAP and given to young people with a learning difficulty who have excelled in one activity or another. This is a great little celebration of what people can achieve with the right support and opportunities, and included nibbles, a nice cup of tea and some bouncy entertainment from the Frukes ukulele band. There was definitely dancing!
This week, some fellow town councillors, staff and I had the pleasure of welcoming some councillors from Radstock, Midsomer Norton and Westfield, for a short gathering and a tour of some of the highlights of our work across the town. It’s really motivating to know that other councils are looking for ideas and inspiration at how we operate and what we can do to keep our town thriving; our independence, strong communities and general resilience are recognised as marking us out from other towns. As we move towards a single Somerset council, this will stand us in good stead for gaining greater say and decision making over what happens in Frome.
I’m very much looking forward to joining some of the walks in our upcoming walking festival. As the days get shorter and darker its important to many of us to stay active and social, and these are a great way to get out and about while exploring the history of the town. From trees, through famous Frome women to a roving silent disco, there’s a huge range of family friendly and fun walks many of which are free, so do get out there and get the winter juices flowing! You can find out more about them on the Frome Town Council website, along with loads of info about other gatherings and events across the town.
As always I’ll sign off with a reminder to look after yourselves and each other, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or my colleagues at the Council if we can help with anything.